Our second family chat was a more ‘life and death’ topic – baby chickens. How tightly to hold them, how to keep them from the cat (you get the picture). Others were about pocket money, chores, entering bedrooms without knocking, where to stay on a trip, sharing hairbrushes, screen time, and the building blocks of faith (we use Faith Box for this).
With today’s hectic pace, it's easy to slip into the role of dictator or martyr. A regular round table of sharing and listening will knit everyone together. Enjoy fewer squabbles and more compliance as children readily internalise instruction, follow rules and accept consequences when they take an active part in the process. This habit of meeting together will open the doors so wide that they don’t tend to shut – a blessing during the adolescent years.
Tips for success
Use a visual reminder
Blu-tac your meeting agenda to the TV or if you use Faith Box, put it on the table.
Our Post-it note prompt says 'A.A.A.' (Affirmations – caught you doing something right, Announcements for the coming week, and Agenda).
Set a positive tone •
Use a positive opening activity like getting everyone to say one thing they like about your family.
Start with a light topic like planning a family fun night. Build anticipation Establish ground rules
Keep it short and don’t worry if you don’t finish – a little time together is better than none at all.
Go around the table with no interruptions or put-downs. Encourage one another and respect one another’s opinions.
Engage and enjoy
For the young ones, give them some responsibility like drawing a family portrait or serving dessert.
For the resistant ones, pull them aside beforehand, explain what you’re doing and get their buy-in and help.
Listen to your kids and enjoy their responses. Mary’s sevenyear-old son was asked the best thing God had created. “Well, I would have to say,” he said with a smile, “That would be me.”